The Three Crosses
This post was originally posted on Merry Wife of Canon on November 8, 2010.
When my grandmother died, it took a very long time to go through all of her stuff. She had lived a life full of a lot of little things and she was a bit of a hoarder. Of her 8 children, my mother was tasked with going through the majority of her things. We filled up our tiny garage with her things and slowly went through them. I started stashing small things that were hers in my room. These were things that I intended to keep for myself. One of these things was a cheap plastic green cross on a long gold chain made by Avon. It was caked in dirt and completely cheap looking, but it was something that I remember always seeing out in the open in her house. I cleaned it up, and absentmindedly draped it over the top post of my bed. I didn’t think much about that placement until one night I was lying in bed missing my grandma terribly. I was crying and my hand sort of went up on it’s own and grabbed the cross hanging on the post. There wasn’t some sort of metaphysical moment where I felt my grandmother’s spirit. It wasn’t that profound. I just prayed silently while grasping the cross and after a bit I started to feel better.
When I left home for college, the cross came with me and was draped over the top post of my dorm bed. When Jessie and I moved in together, the cross came with me and took its usual place. Always when something was bothering me to the point of keeping me from sleeping, I would grasp at the cross and pray silently for peace of mind. It’s something that gives me a lot of comfort and serenity. And with my fevered brain, serenity is much needed sometimes.
When I was pregnant with Lukas, I asked Jessie if he minded my putting a cross in Lukas’ room. Jessie thought it was a good idea and I bought him one. I don’t keep it draped on his bed just yet. I haven’t explained to him what it’s for and I want him to really appreciate that sort of comfort. With Ruegen, I planned to do the same.
Believe it or not, it is actually really hard to find a simple cross. I had mentioned to my mom that I was looking. She called me one night and said, “I found one of your grandma’s crosses. Do you want it for Ruegen?” At this point I had already purchased one for Ruegen, but I also didn’t feel right about only one of my boys getting a cross as precious to me as one that belonged to my grandma. My mom understood.
“You know how some people believe that when a loved one dies they come back and watch over their loved ones?” She asked me. “I think if your grandma was going to watch over anybody, it would be your babies.”
I bit my lip and tried to hide the fact that I was using every ounce of will to not cry. My mom has a talent for saying just the right thing to me at times and it’s so touching and sweet that I can actually feel something inside of me crack. It’s a nice thought, my grandma watching over my babies. I don’t know that I actually believe that to be true, but it’s a nice thought.
So there are three cross necklaces in my house. One is draped at the head of my bed and the other two are draped above the windows in my boys’ rooms. They comfort and help with prayer and silent meditation. If my boys are anything like either of their parents, they will need a little help from time to time to achieve that inner quiet we long for so often. When I finally explain to them what they are for, I hope that they can appreciate the thought if nothing else. I love those boys so much.